Scam Letters Make Rounds in Michigan Taxpayer Mailboxes



Scams are off the charts in 2020, due largely in part to the coronavirus and the many opportunities it presents to fraudsters from medical equipment sales to government relief funds. This year, the IRS has warned taxpayers and professionals about several potential threats including phishing , social media and phone scams. Today, Michiganders are receiving a similar warning from the Michigan Treasury Department involving letters sent to taxpayers via the USPS. 

Despite mail scams being something of an old hat, post scams are still a highly effective means of deception. The ruse in question this time revolves around overdue Michigan state tax bills. In the letter, individuals are told to contact a toll-free number immediately to avoid harsh penalties, including threats to seize Social Security benefits and other personal assets to settle the debt.   

“This is a tricky scam that has been reported throughout the state,” Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good said of the matter. “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state tax debt, please contact us through a verified number so we can talk about options.” 

According to a Treasury press release, the letter appears credible to taxpayers by using specific personal facts which were pulled directly from publicly available information. Credible letters from the Treasury Department will provide several options to resolve outstanding debt and information regarding taxpayer rights.  

To avoid confusion, the MICPA recommends notifying Michigan clients to be on alert for this scam and to advise clients to report any fraudulent letters to the Treasury’s Collection Service Center at 517-636-5265 so the scam can be logged appropriately. 

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Source: Michigan Department of Treasury

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